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Computer Science > Computers and Society

Title: A Framework for Validating IS Research Based on a Pluralist Account of Truth and Correctness

Abstract: Research in information systems includes a wide range of approaches which make a contribution in terms of knowledge, understanding, or practical developments. The measure of any research is, ultimately, its validity: are its finding true, or its recommendations correct? However, empirical studies show that discussion of validity in research is often weak. In this paper we examine the nature of truth and correctness in order to construct a validation framework that can encompass all the varied forms of research. Within philosophy, there has been much debate about truth, is it correspondence, coherence, consensual or pragmatic, and in fact current views revolve around the idea of a pluralist view of truth: it is one and many. Related to truth is the concept of correctness, and in particular the necessity of both internal correctness and external correctness. The framework we develop based on these concepts of truth and correctness has been applied to a range of research forms including positivist, mathematical, interpretive, design science, critical and action oriented. The benefits are: i) that a greater and more explicit focus on validity criteria will produce better research; ii) having a single framework can unite what at times seem conflicting approaches to research; iii) having criteria made explicit should encourage debate and further development.
Subjects: Computers and Society (cs.CY)
Cite as: arXiv:1701.04676 [cs.CY]
  (or arXiv:1701.04676v1 [cs.CY] for this version)

Submission history

From: John Mingers [view email]
[v1] Tue, 27 Dec 2016 11:02:27 GMT (769kb)